These author questions and answers have been a great source of inspiration to me. In the answers, there is a sort of confirmation, to roll with what ever is going on in my head when creativity is concerned.
MAURIA presents images of a society divided. One depending on the other and maybe a communion in that sense. But it still feels like a sad state of affairs. It leaves a churning that our world might settle on such madness. The author has created a beautiful and vividly colorful fantasy with a dystopia feel to it.
Thank you Steve North for the amazing Q&A and the wonderful guest post.
Q. Generally when writing anything where do you look, or what do you do, to find inspiration?
A. Honestly, I need to have an idea that really feels exciting to me, because I know I won’t survive the inevitable re-writes, struggles to get it right, and the endless hours; unless I’m really “taken over” by a concept. Strong ideas for a story have a way of “writing themselves” and you just have to ride the truth coming through you. I’m not a “force-yourself-to-write-everyday” person, even though that works for many writers. I think the word you used in your question, “inspiration” is the key for me. If I’m not inspired, neither is my writing.
Q. More directly, what was your inspiration for writing MAURIA?
A. I wrote MAURIA while living in a small A-Frame 10,000 feet above sea level, in the mountains of Colorado West of Denver. In many ways, the Maurians and the Vuervee personify the two warring parts of me – the “natural spiritual way I felt in the mountains, and the industrial-achieving-polluting way, represented by the city (Denver) far below my mountain “high.” Like the book, neither side was really functional by itself.
Q. Which came first, the idea for MAURIA or the Characters?
A. The idea. That the mountain-way and the city-way were so opposite, yet part of us; like love and hate, peace and war, etc. That we really live in abiverse, not a universe, everything we are and do is a compromise between the two extremes we feel – just like the Earth stays in it’s orbit due to a stand-off or draw between the planet’s desire to fly off the way it’s headed, and the Sun’s magnetic pull. That everything we do as humans is in some way a compromise between the two extremes we feel. So, I thought, maybe we come from 2 races who were much more pure to one side or the other – but each dysfunctional and not survivable because of their extremes – and somehow we come from a mix of both of them.
Q. Which was your favorite Character in MAURIA and why?
A. I hate to say it, but SmallGamer Bordt. His “scum will rise” diabolical cleverness, combined with his low-class vulgarity – was really fun to depict.
Q. What other projects have you been involved with and which of those have been your favorite(s)?
A. You know, I’ve had a very diverse writing career, everything from Sci Fantasy to comedy to TV series and movies. I’ve also “kissed a lot of frogs,” so to speak, in writing jobs. Aside from MAURIA, writing and developing TV comedy shows are my favorites.
Q. Does life change for you while writing and working on a project?
A. If it doesn’t you’re not doing a good one. If it doesn’t take you over, if you’re not obsessed with it because it’s alive and going on in your head 24-7 – then it’s probably not anything special.
Q. When you are not writing, what genre of books do you like to read?
A. I’m all over the board – fantasy, a good thriller, detective books, –when I was in my teens I was very affected by Mickey Spillane’s books.
Q. What do you say to those that share your love for writing?
A. On the one hand, try to find jobs or volunteer jobs that make you write, like even advertising copy or reviews, or whatever. On the other hand, when it comes to doing your own thing, like a novel, pick things that really excite you, in your guts, to write about. Don’t choose ideas based on “the marketplace” or some other external force or current fad or strategy. In other words, pick something that, if it never sells, you’ll still be happy for the experience of writing it.
The Circle is!
One of the amazing things for me has been how different people can perceive Mauria, than I – who saw it in my head as I wrote it – perceived it. MAURIA deals with two very different races, the city-bound techno/political and corporate/manipulation-crazed Maurians – and the more nature-like wild Vuervee who are hunted by the Maurians. Some people picture the Vuervee as human with a few animal features (as I saw and wrote about them); but others describe their view of them as completely animals—like deer or some such thing. One reader actually pictured them as the farm creatures in the old classic, “Animal Farm.”
I wrote a story that in my mind took place prior to (and leading up to) Adam and Eve. Many readers/reviewers saw the story as taking place sometime in our future! Many say that the Maurians are what would happen to our world if the current corporate greed and our destroying of the environment continued unchecked. Never saw that one, but makes a lot of sense.
Who are the heroes and villains? My take is that both civilizations were so extreme that neither could survive, and that only a hybrid of the two (my Adam and Eve) could create us. Yet, some see the Maurians as functional, but for a few evil leaders; and see the Vuervee as un-survivable. Others see the Vuervee as the only ones worthy of survival, and simply discard the Maurians as the bad guys. I see the Maurians and the Vuervee in all of us today, constantly torn between opposite polarities like trust or fear, generosity or greed, manipulation or “going with the flow.”
In some ways, MAURIA seems to be almost a personal mirror for people – one that they see through their own perspective. Oh, well, what is reality anyway? The Circle is!
Anyway, it’s been so much fun hearing from everybody, and their different takes on MAURIA. Anybody can email me at email@example.com with their takes or comments.
by Steve North, author of MAURIA
Steve North’s versatile career includes writing science fiction stories; and writing and producing over thirty national televisions shows with his wife Barb. His published science fiction short stories include “The Sweetwater Effect” and “Days of Present Past.” He has written and produced for such television shows as Fantasy, Make MeLaugh, Candid Camera, The Gong Show, Anything for Money, TotallyHidden Video, and many more. North has also written numerous documentary films for Coronet and Britannica Films, as well as two feature films, Burger Wars and Letting Go, both penned with his wife and optioned by Hollywood studios. He has appeared on numerous daytime and evening talkshows, and he has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Wired and the Los Angeles Times. Steve North lives with his wife Barb in Woodland Hills, California. Mauria is his first novel and was primarily written in the mountains of Colorado.